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Paddy Swanson trained as a teacher at St Mary’s University but began his career as an actor at the Arts Theatre in the West End of London. In 1969, he toured Europe with La MaMa Plexus and subsequently received his education in world theatre from Ellen Stewart at La MaMa E.T.C. in New York. His numerous directing projects include theater, opera, ensemble, music theater, and circus. He was the founding stage director of Circus Flora.
Paddy taught acting and improvisation at the London Academy of Dramatic Art (L.A.M.D.A.), the London Drama Centre, and the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. He served as artistic director of the Castle Hill Festival in Ipswich, Massachusetts, directing and co-producing opera and theater works, including the premieres of Julie Taymor’s Liberty’s Taken and Peter Sellars’ production of Cosi fan Tutte. Other directing credits include Tristan and Iseult with the Boston Camerata at the Spoleto USA festival; Shirley Valentine by Willy Russell at Houston’s Alley Theatre and Boston’s Charles Playhouse; Happy Days by Samuel Beckett, The Caretaker by Harold Pinter, and two stage premieres at Gloucester Stage Company; Talking Heads by Alan Bennett; and Fighting Over Beverley by Israel Horowitz . His Actors’ Shakespeare Project production of Shakespeare’s King Lear with Alvin Epstein was nominated for three 2006 Elliot Norton awards. For A.S.P. he subsequently directed The Tempest and The Coveted Crown (Henry IV parts one and two). His most recent acting performance was for Gloucester Stage as Father Jack in Dancing at Lughnasa by Brian Friel.
For Revels, Paddy has directed a contemporary version of the medieval mystery plays, The Mysteries by Tony Harrison, co-produced by Revels and Shakespeare & Company, and Benjamin Britten’s opera Noye’s Fludde. He writes, scripts and directs all Cambridge Revels productions and serves as a national consultant to eight affiliated Revels companies.
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